Embouchure Problems???

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by JonnySop, May 14, 2012.

  1. JonnySop

    JonnySop New Member

    Hi all,Could it be that i have Embouchure problems? Had a lenghthy break from cornet playing roughyl 6-7 years, returned to soprano and pushed myself extremely hard, since then I have been back playing three years with still no real stamina and no high range, I can safely say I have been practising the correct methods and studys to improve and although it has improved a little there is still doubt in my mind that I may well have problems. Have had a few great lessons off some great players/teachers, one thought possible Embouchure problem, other thought strenghing excersises. Have been doing these daily/every second day for the past three years and I am currently a mere shadow of my formal self.This is not an insult to horn players, but had a blow on a horn, felt extremely confortable on the mouth, easy to play in all registers and could play all day long, like i used to before I had a break. Is it time to move to a bigger instrument??? My theory suggests yes but would like to hear some opinions on this.Thanks in advance.J
  2. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    You need to speak to people (by which I mean professional teachers) who've heard you play, we can't really have a clue about it over the internet - everyone's playing is different.

    Good luck!
  3. TrumpetTom

    TrumpetTom Member

    Sounds like something my teacher (John Dickinson) would know the answer to.
  4. jonny1note

    jonny1note Member

    You don't say if your previous cornet experience was Bb or Eb. As previously suggested, a good idea to get some professional help, but maybe consider:

    1. If previous experience is Bb cornet then move to Eb will be quite a challenge, particularly with dynamics and range.

    2. Overdoing the practice regime and bruising lips. Take a good few days rest and return to gentle practice.

    3. Instrument and Mouthpiece. Are they the same as used in previous years. Some larger mouthpieces make higher range more difficult. Some mouthpieces just do not suit particular instruments.
  5. JonnySop

    JonnySop New Member

    Sorry, got previous in playing both Bb and Eb, most recent was Eb though before switching back to Bb.
  6. GordonH

    GordonH Member

    General advice

    If you have been doing exercises to strengthen the corners of your embouchure, have you also been doing lots of quiet practice to build up control? Playing loudly is just playing quietly with more oomph so quiet playing is the key to control and dynamics.

    Also - the big issue for brass band players is playing beyond the point when they should really stop and doing little bits of damage along the way. My rule was to practice quietly at home every day using exercises like Schlossberg or Koprasch followed by pieces I was working on. I played in total five or six days per week. I did not practice the day after a heavy blow at a rehearsal.

    This may seem counter intuitive, but playing less can make you stronger as you are not compounding injuries from the night before.
  7. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    You don't get stronger at the gym - you get stronger at home recovering from the gym.

    Stress + adaptation/recovery = progression.
    Stress + stress = overtraining = regression.
    Play smart....PLAY LESS.
  8. catastraphone

    catastraphone Member

    Try one of these for a couple of weeks. Use it for 5 mins in the morning and 5 in the evening.


    It will effectively build your muscles as you would your arms an chest in a gym. If will give you core strength that you can then hone to whatever embouchure size / shape you want to build. Practise your cornet at least 2 hours after using it and don't push too hard, just try and get the reflex memory working again.

    If you ha 7 years off your embouchure is more or less Jon existent and you need to build it before you tray ND play as you used to do. If you had not run for 7 years you would not try a marathon as your first outing, which soprano essentially is.

    Honestly, buy one and use it. You won't regret it, but you may regret becoming a horn player! ;-)

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